What was the reason behind Bassanio taking Launcelot into his service in William Shakespeare’s famous play ‘The Merchant of Venice’?
I think it was not Bassanio taking Launcelot into service, but Launcelot himself asking to serve for him. And Bassanio was a good man, kind and generous. So, he didn’t reject him.
Another point here could be that Launcelot was a Christian formerly working under the Jew, Shylock. So, it was an opportunity to save a Christian from the hands of a Jew whom all Christians hated.
Did I miss anything here?
Yes , you missed on the point that
Bassanio told Lancelot that he had already been recommended to him by his jew master that is Shylock.
Bassanio took Launcelot in his service for 2 reasons —
1. When Bassanio said that Shylock had recommended him he was talking about the time when Shylock said “See to my house, left in the fearful guard of an unthrifty knave (Launcelot)” Since Shylock disliked Launcelot, Bassanio liked him. (the enemy’s enemy is your friend.)
2. Launcelot flattered Bassanio with his words.
It was because Shylock always thought of Launcelot as a person who did no work and always slept and Shylock wasted his money by keeping him in service. So Shylock recommended Launcelot to join Bassanio’s service and waste the money of extravagant Christian, as per Shylock